Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reflections of Madison County: A Visual Journey

In every bookworm's library, there are permanent residents or books that you return to time and again, to derive from them the same comfort and understanding that you felt the first time you had read it. These books can bring you back to the sacred space of your soul.

One such book is Reflections of Madison County: A Visual Journey by Mark F. Heffron. This book combines photography and poetry. Against each beautiful photograph of the Madison Country are a few lines from a classic writer like Rainer Maria Rilke or W.B. Yeats.

The visual journey offers a glimpse of the paths through the green fields, the serene rivers and the bridges that are synonymous with Madison County. The ordinary views of nature are transformed into the extraordinary in these pictures. The sunrises and sunsets reveal a landscape glowing with magical light. The fall season transforms the green landscape into a russet-clad one.

Adding to the visual treasure are excerpts from lyrical poets given along with each picture, making this book a form of soul space. I love this one by Rachel Carson:

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.

A sheaf of corn, the mist clad banks of a river, the shade of sunset in the river-water, a swing- impressions that remain in the mind even after you leave the book. Nature and art combines to create sense of serenity in the reader, so much that this book is sure a collector's treasure. 

Friday, November 12, 2010


The days of darkness are over finally.
I had waited for the dawn to come for long;
One little wrong word and too much veracity
Had killed this free spirit too early.

Thirst for knowledge and love of life lost,
The soul had shrunk as if pickled in brine
And lost its freedom, its love for life,
Become like an empty vessel thrown in mud.

Now you have brought so many joys and smiles,
You have changed the face of this terrain,
With your dash of luck you sail forward
Taking us both in your pleasant stride.

If I had not known this darkness, my dear,
I'd have never known the value of your smile.